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Starting university as a fresher student nurse: how did our student editors feel?

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Are you starting university this year? We quiz our student nurse editors about the highs and lows of their first year at university …

How did you feel joining your course as a new student nurse fresher?

“One part absolutely terrified, one part excited and one part ready and raring to go!” Sarah Jones, adult student nurse editor

I felt nervous but very excited.” Mikey Whitehead, child, student nurse editor

“As I am a mature student I was worried that I was going to be the oldest and not be accepted nit luckily they welcomed me.” Michelle Parker, learning disabilities, student nurse editor

“Apprehensive and nervous but mostly excited!”Natalie Moore, mental health, student nurse editor

What one tip would you give new student nurse freshers?

“Always be interested! Mentors, tutors, patients and students alike will all appreciate and notice you if you’re interested. If someone is telling you something you already know, don’t tell them so, use your knowledge to ask informed questions. People will really respond to your enthusiasm.” Sarah Jones, adult student nurse editor

“I’d advise new student freshers to talk to someone different as often as possible, you learn a lot that way.” Mikey Whitehead, child, student nurse editor

“Attend the Positive Choice conference which is a free conference for all learning disability nursing students, if your University don’t mention it contact me for details @LDstudentnurse.” Michelle Parker, learning disabilities, student nurse editor

“Keep a journal when you’re on placement. It makes it easier when it comes to writing essays and is useful for looking up research around something you came across in your practice.”Natalie Moore, mental health, student nurse editor

What did you enjoy most about your first year?

“My highlights have definitely been whilst on placement. I’ve had incredible placements, mentors and patients and I’ve been genuinely upset to leave each and every one.” Sarah Jones, adult student nurse editor

“In my first year I really enjoyed getting the chance to meet other like-minded nurses.” Mikey Whitehead, child student nurse editor

“I really enjoyed forging new friendships with people who had the same interests as me across all four nursing branches, I have some amazing friends now and we all support each other.” Michelle Parker, learning disabilities, student nurse editor

“I loved going on to placement and getting to experience what being a nurse was really like, as well as meeting other people.” Natalie Moore, mental health, student nurse editor

What was most difficult about being a first year?

“I sometimes found myself feeling a bit out of my depth, and slightly…stupid! But once I realized that everyone understood that I was only a first year, and that I had years to learn, I relaxed. And once I relaxed I seemed to take in more information, and I didn’t feel so worried!” Sarah Jones, adult student nurse editor

“This won’t apply to everyone, but it was actually quite daunting being the only man on my course.” Mikey Whitehead, children’s nursing, student nurse editor

“Nursing follows a different academic timetable to other university courses which can make it difficult for friends to understand why you can’t always attend everything on the social calendar.” Michelle Parker, learning disabilities, student nurse editor

“Managing my time. This was really difficult at first but I got the hang of it. The amount of work you have at first seems daunting, balancing it with maintaining a social life, working, etc. is hard but you just need to plan ahead, make a timetable and do your best to try and stick to it.” Natalie Moore, mental health, student nurse editor

If you could change one thing about your first year, what would it be?

“I regret not making the most of first year. I got caught up in a little nursing bubble and didn’t get stuck in like I should. This year I plan to join societies and have a university life outside of nursing.” Sarah Jones, adult, student nurse editor

“One thing I would change is putting my hand up more to speak in lectures!” Mikey Whitehead, children’s nursing, student nurse editor

“Absolutely nothing, I have enjoyed every step of this journey, I would just advise new students to relish every day because it really does go fast.” Michelle Parker, learning disabilities, student nurse editor

“I wouldn’t have left my revision until the last minute. I managed to do well but it was really stressful, now I would begin a  lot earlier and take time after each lecture to make sure I really understand the content.” Natalie Moore, mental health, student nurse editor

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